Norway has ordered five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide announced on 29 March in Oslo.
"We have now signed the contract for five new P-8A maritime patrol aircraft. The procurement is underlining Norways allied commitment to spending on defence capabilities vital to both NATO and Norway", says Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Maritime patrol aircraft has been a crucial part of Norwegian presence in the High North since the beginning of the 1960s. The basic task of Norwegian MPAs has been the surveillance of Norwegian and adjacent waters. Norway is NATO in the north, and the Norwegian presence is a sign of stability in the region. Being close to the Kola Peninsula, it is important that Norway possess modern technology.
Both the U.S. Navy and the Royal Air Force will operate the same aircraft and Norway looks forward to close and efficient cooperation in operations, logistics, maintenance and other functions.
The P-8s will be delivered in 2022 and 23, and the cost will be approximately NOK 10 billon. The P-8s will replace the six ageing P-3 Orions and three Jet Falcons. The Orions will continue their mission until the Poseidons arrive.
The P-8 is based on a Boeing 737 civil airliner, modified with sensors, weapons bays and other elements to enable it to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR) and other roles.
The decision to renew the MPA capability was an important element in the Norwegian Long Term Plan, issued last year.